Annadel State Park – west end

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Annadel State Park is one of a group of parks in the Valley of the Moon area of Sonoma County.  Possibly because I had encountered open, sunny, and warm conditions in nearby Sugarloaf Ridge State Park on a recent hike, I was expecting Annadel to be similar.  The first couple of miles of the Bay Area Ridge Trail segment, starting at the Spring Lake Park trail head and proceeding generally along Spring Creek, are indeed open and sunny.  During my hike I encountered several wild quails, which ran off the trail when I carefully approached.

photo of wild quails on the trail

Wild quails on the trail

Once the trail starts to climb, however, it enters forested areas and is delightfully shaded and cool on warm days.  Redwoods help to create the shade.

photo of redwoods create delightful shade

Redwoods create delightful shade

In other areas there are distinctively shaped oak trees.

photo of distinctive oaks

Distinctive oaks

Because the rainy season is only about half the year, as in other California locations, I was surprised to find lush ferns.

photo of lush ferns

Lush ferns

After the hike I had a better opportunity to study my GPS track on a map, and I believe this was in the area of Redwood Spring.

GPS track

GPS track

Elevation profile

Elevation profile

In this cool and moister section of the park there were also interesting-looking trees and rocks covered with moss.

photo of mossy tree

Mossy tree

I had intended to turn around after about 4.5-5 miles, and I knew this would be within a 3.3-mile section of the Ridge Trail.  So I created a way point on the GPS and took careful notes to document the location, to facilitate identifying the same location on a later hike, when I would approach from the opposite direction.

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2 Responses to Annadel State Park – west end

  1. Pingback: Annadel State Park – east end | trailhiker

  2. Pingback: Annadel State Park – east end | trailhiker

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